“There needs to be a “thorough rethink” about how to approach failure in local government, think-tanks have warned.
Methods of addressing failure in local government are “no longer fit for purpose” according to a briefing paper published on 10 December by the Centre for Public Scrutiny and Localis.
They identified four main types of failure including: a failure of culture, a failure of service, a failure of function and a failure of duty.
CfPS and Localis said councils experiencing these types of failure often become less outward looking, more introspective and more defensive. The warning was timely, they said, because of the recent high-profile failures at Northamptonshire County Council, and increasing pressures on the sector more widely.
Jacqui McKinlay, chief executive of the Centre for Public Scrutiny, said: “Our recent experience of working with local authorities shows that it is time for a thorough rethink about local government failure.
“Failure in local government is not something that is going to go away – in fact, a range of looming pressures mean that the problem is likely to become more prevalent in the years ahead.”
McKinlay urged local government needs to prepare for increasing instances of failure in the years ahead.
She added: “We are clear that improved scrutiny processes at the local level will be crucial in this effort.” …”